Economy & Business

Business news

President Trump continues to own hundreds of businesses around the world, and he has staffed his administration with wealthy people who have ties to a complex web of companies. Those financial entanglements have prompted government ethics experts to raise concerns about conflicts of interest.

Your internet data may be up for sale

Mar 27, 2017
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Molly Wood

Last week, the United States Senate quietly voted to repeal the Federal Communications Commission's broadband privacy rules. These rules would have given consumers the power to choose how to share personal data that gets collected by internet service providers. For example, data about what websites you visit. The bill goes to the House of Representatives for a vote on Tuesday. If it passes the House, it goes off to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.

In the spring of my senior year of high school, I took daily trips to the mailbox. It might have been the only time in my life when I knew for a fact that any day, letters with my name on them would appear in the mailbox from colleges that had read through my hopeful applications.

Why markets worldwide are down following Congress's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Then, a new survey reveals that credit card holders are generally successful when they ask to negotiate rates and waive fees. And Sabri Ben-Achour interviews journalist Jason Koebler about why farmers are fighting John Deere policies by hacking their

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Marketplace

What now? That's the question after House Republicans last week failed to pass a repeal-and-replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act. We take a look at what might happen to state and federal insurance exchanges in 2018. We also re-visit the question "Can the government really act like a business?" President Trump seems to think so. Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, will head a new department with an old concept: use data-driven business practices and apply them to government.

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Sabri Ben-Achour

In some rural parts of the U.S., there is a bitter divide emerging between farmers and a tractor company over software. Tractors these days are not your grandpa's tractors — they come with sophisticated software. Farmers say this technology locks them out of their equipment so they can't fix it themselves, which is why they’re jailbreaking their tractors using bootleg software.

NYC’s 'Fearless Girl' will keep standing on Wall Street

Mar 27, 2017
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Jana Kasperkevic

The faceoff between the Wall Street bull and the “Fearless Girl” will continue.

The 4-foot-tall, pony-tailed statue of a girl with arms akimbo was supposed to be removed on April 2, but New York city officials announced on Sunday that it was extending its stay through February of next year.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

What's it like to sue President Trump? For Jeffrey Lovitky, with a one-lawyer firm in Washington, D.C., it's not a great feeling.

"It is intimidating. I am intimidated," he said in an interview with NPR. "I mean, I would rather not be doing this."

But he has done it, and when he couldn't enlist anyone else to be the plaintiff, he took on that role, too.

"I think people are afraid to put their name out there on a lawsuit against the president," he said. "There is a sense that Donald Trump can be very difficult on people who oppose him."

03/27/17: Tech startups versus patent trolls

Mar 27, 2017
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Marketplace

Companies that exist solely to buy patents and sue tech firms, known as patent trolls, will be affected by a Supreme Court decision today that could limit where they file suits. Currently, venue is key to how patent trolls win cases — for example, one third of such cases are argued in the eastern district of Texas where rules are favorable to plaintiffs. Plus, a test run of Amazon's outfit compare feature, which joins several apps trying to take the place of a friend who tells you what to wear while compiling your shopping data.

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Marketplace

Iran responds to U.S. sanctions with their own, aimed at U.S. companies that do business with Israel. Marketplace's Marielle Segarra discusses which companies are involved and what it means for them. Then we turn to Nigeria, where pollution from an oil spill is still astonishingly high almost a decade after two Shell pipelines burst. Plus, how mobile solar-powered vehicle chargers are changing the landscape of the electric car industry.

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JaeRan Kim

The push to get more electric vehicles on the road has been hampered by the lack of readily available charging stations. Remedying that problem isn’t a quick fix, since it takes a lot of work to build up the necessary infrastructure. Some are taking advantage of the slow transition to build a business around the need for charging.

On a recent Friday, Desmond Wheatley, president and CEO of Envision Solar, was backing his Chevy Bolt into an EV Arc station in the parking lot of the Rancho Park Golf Course in Los Angeles.

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Nancy Marshall-Genzer

A new study from Creditcards.com says 87 percent of cardholders who asked for a late fee waiver and 67 percent who requested a lower interest rate were granted their requests, just for asking. The problem is only about 1 in 4 cardholders is making these kinds of requests. So why don’t people negotiate more? Do they not know that banks can be flexible? The survey suggests that it pays to be tough and negotiate. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

These days just about every device is "smart." There are smart cars, phones, TVs, grills and speakers, and most people don't think twice about buying a new TV, hooking it up to the internet and giving it access to different apps.

But all that connectivity means data is being shared and collected by the devices and the apps used.

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